As any real estate expert will tell you, the key to securing strong returns on your investment property is keeping your occupancy rates high.
You might think that focusing on attracting new tenants is all that matters, but the real goal should be to retain the ones you have. After all, it is much, much more expensive for you to onboard a new tenant than to retain an existing one.
If you want to get the most out of a successful investment property, that property needs to be somewhere that people want to live for the long haul.
With that in mind, here are our tried and tested tips for attaining and maintaining a high rental property occupancy rate.
1. Screen Your Tenants
If you can find quality tenants the first time around, you won't have to worry as much about them sticking around. Quality tenants want stability and will pay the rent on time and in full.
Problematic tenants are more likely to leave at a moment's notice and reduce the occupancy rates of your property. Make sure to have a thorough screening process in place for all potential tenants.
Find out why they are considering your property, and whether they are the right fit, without asking anything that could even be perceived as discriminatory.
2. Offer Targeted Incentives
Finding tenants is the easy part. Keeping them is the hard part. To maintain high investment property occupancy rates, you'll need to give your tenants a reason to stick around.
This means offering incentives that make it more appealing to stay put than move somewhere else, even if the rent is more expensive at your property. Easy and relatively low-investment measures include offering to cover the cost of utilities, or offering free parking.
You can also opt for things that make living at your property easier, such as pet-friendly policies and flexibility with decorating.
3. Reward Longevity
You don't have to wait until the lease is up for renewal. You can reward tenants for sticking around for the long haul from the very first day of their tenancy.
For example, you can offer lower rent for those who agree to longer lease terms - a practice that is becoming increasingly common in cities across America.
You can add new amenities or bonuses for every year they stay with you, or promise to cover renovations after a certain period. All of these tactics can have a huge impact on convincing your tenants to stay.
4. Adapt to the Neighborhood
The property itself is rarely the only consideration on your tenants' minds. If there has been an uptick in crime in the area, you should offer to enhance the security features of the building.
If your tenants value an easy commute, see what you can do to improve local parking.
If it's amenities your tenants love, make sure to let them know about the local businesses that make your area a vibrant one to live in. It's all about selling them on the neighborhood, as well as the property.
We Can Help You Get More Out of Your Investment Property
An investment property can be the foundation for lasting financial security if you get it right. Maintaining a high occupancy rate is key to this, but is easier said than done.
If you want to keep high-value, paying tenants in your property, we can help. Feel free to get in touch to find out how we can enhance your appeal to the tenants you need the most.